Thais have been full of praise online for tourists using traditional “pinto thao” food containers instead of plastic bags to take their picnic meals into Krabi’s Than Bok Khorani Marine National Park.
Park officials were at the same time handing out cloth bags to visitors, in response to a Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment ban on plastic bags and foam containers at all 154 national parks.
Among those cheering the development was noted marine expert Assistant Professor Thon Thamrongnawasawat, who shared the story on Faceook on Monday morning, drawing 12,000 “likes”.
Thon said he appreciated how park officials, tour operators and visitors both Thai and foreign had made what had been “impossible in the past” possible today.
The ministry’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation imposed the ban on single-use plastic at all 154 national parks and seven zoos on August 12, seeking to reduce an estimated 45 quadrillion pieces of plastic discarded every year in Thailand.
A park official posted photos on Facebook showing many visitors to Than Bok Khorani Marine Park having picnics on the beach from multi-deck pinto thao containers they’d prepared themselves or received from their tour operators.
Park chief Weerasak Srisajjang told his crew to also lend tourists cloth bags to use while in the park, which reportedly gets at least 1,000 visitors a day.